80% of Decisions made in your head are wrong


I came across some information when I was reading a book on successful people which made me stop and think. The author suggested that the majority of decisions you make in your head are wrong and the majority of decisions you make following your instinct, or gut feel are right. I have been experimenting with this for a few months now and boy it seem to really work.

Taking this a step further I believe the figure may be closer to 70 – 80% of decisions made being right if you follow your instinct. As I have been using my instinct to make most of the decisions I have to make on a daily basis, I have found that I have been getting better results from these recent decisions. This figure of 80% made me think of the famous business term the Pareto principle.

Pareto Principle

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Management consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who, while at the University of Lausanne in 1896, published his first paper “Cours d’économie politique.”

Essentially, Pareto showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population; Pareto developed the principle by observing that 20% of the peapods in his garden contained 80% of the peas. It is a common rule of thumb in business; e.g., “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.” For example:

80% of problems can be attributed to 20% of causes.
80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers
80% of a company’s complaints come from 20% of its customers
80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of the time its staff spend
80% of a company’s sales come from 20% of its products
80% of a company’s sales are made by 20% of its sales staff

Decisions based on your gut feeling

So even though this is a loose connection it made me steer my thoughts towards the figure being closer to 80% than 70%. I am still working with this but my experience over the past few months seems to be confirming this. I am working hard on making both large and small decisions following my instinct, which is much easier said than done.

Most of us naturally want to think things through and we spend time researching, discussing with other people, weighing things up and eventually we process what we believe to be the best solution for us to follow. But, and this is a big but, we make the decision based purely on facts and figures and not on the prompting of something deeper.

Scientists are even talking about a possible gland which is located in the ‘gut’ area which can pick up energy to help us make decisions. Clearly there is no firm evidence that this exists, but something just tells me that this is real and so I am basing as many decisions as I can on my instinct to test this out.

It’s not easy but worth persevering with

To do this you have to trust yourself and refuse to think too deeply about the decision you have to make. You have to be calm and relaxed to pick up the gentle prompting of that gut feeling. This is hard to explain but you can feel it there for a while giving you an answer to the decision you have to make. As soon as you start to think too deeply about it, the noise in your head drowns out that gentle prompting and you can’t hear it any more – that is when you make your decision with your head.

Whenever I used to have a decision to make I would contact several people to get their opinion, then I would research and eventually make a calculated choice on the given options. This was clinical, calculated and based purely on the few facts and opinions I had gathered in the relatively short period of time. It was no surprise that I was making wrong decisions.

Successful people seem to agree

I’ve asked a good number of successful people how they make decisions and they all agree that the gut instinct serves them best. They can all recount times when they haven’t followed their gut feeling and gone with the facts and figures, they have then made the wrong decision. Of course this won’t be one hundred percent accurate but I have found that my success rate on the ‘good decision’ scale has improved.

There are books I am currently reading about very successful people who categorically state that they make all their decisions on their gut instinct. They claim that using that feeling they get deep down is usually the correct basis for their decision making, and their success seems to back that up.

It has taken time but I have learned to make most of my decisions on my instinct and so far things are going well decision wise. Time will tell and I am refining this new found skill, but I have a gut feeling that this will be a good course I am plotting for the future.

Thoughts for the week:

1. Have a think about the process you go through to make a decision
2. See if that process includes a lot of discussion, thinking and research
3. Next time you have a decision to make see if you get a gut feeling deep down
4. If you do, try not to lose it by thinking too much but just go with it and see what happens
5. It’s probably best to start with smaller decisions to build up confidence with this then move to bigger decisions
6. Consider Parato’s 80/20 law in your life and work it’s quite fascinating how many times it crops up
Coming to see me speak

It is great that some of you are coming to see me speak on Monday 16th May in Donnington at the Bio breakfast networking event and I look forward to seeing you there. This great opportunity to network with other business and take away some nuggets from me starts at 9.30am and finishes at 11.30am. The link to sign up is:

Well that’s it for this week, have a great weekend and stay positive

Warm regards


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